Can You Play Xbox Games on PC without Owning an Xbox

For the past two decades, Xbox has been rivaling PlayStation fiercely, competing to become the best video game console on the market. Owned by the mega tech company, Microsoft, Xbox’s current-generation models – the Xbox Series X/S – enjoy massive upgrades to their hardware and specs, culminating in breath-taking graphical improvements to console-exclusive games like Halo Infinite and Gears 5.

Knowing that a computer giant like Microsoft is at the helm of Xbox, is it possible for us to play Xbox-exclusive games on our gaming PCs too?

Yes, we can play Xbox games on PC even if we do not own an Xbox console at home. Thanks to Xbox Cloud Gaming, all the best Xbox games can be played online by streaming them on our computer, anywhere around the world!

Although video game trends show that newer-generation players are beginning to favor handheld and mobile games in general, Xbox-specific titles like Forza Horizon 5 continue to appeal to mainstream audiences, drawing the attention of PC gamers as well.

Thankfully, we can play multiplayer Xbox games like Sea of Thieves without needing to subscribe to Xbox Live at all, saving us from a lot of recurring costs in the long run.

That being said, Microsoft’s Xbox Game Pass offers tremendous value in terms of playing the latest triple-A Xbox games on PC for free, so we should consider subscribing to it if we want to play the best Xbox-exclusive titles on our computers every month.

How to Play Xbox Games on PC

Playing Xbox games on PC isn’t as straightforward as it sounds, though. To do so, we need to set up a few things first:

  • The latest, updated web browser (Microsoft Edge, Google Chrome, etc.)
  • An Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription ($14.99 per month)
  • The Xbox App for Windows PC installed
  • A gaming PC with respectable specs
  • Stable Internet connection

All of these are required for Xbox games to run seamlessly on the computer. Once everything is in order, here’s how to play Xbox games on PC:

  1. Launch the Xbox App for Windows.
  2. Sign in to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate.
  3. Select ‘Cloud Gaming’ from the menu on the left.
  4. Browse through the available games on offer.
  5. Select the preferred game and play!

Similar to how we play MLB The Show 22 on PC, running Xbox games on our computer is easy once all the prerequisites are nailed down accordingly. However, in-game performances might differ according to PC specs and Internet speeds, which aren’t the same for everyone.

Should I Play Xbox Games on PC?

With Xbox games now playable on PC via Xbox Cloud Gaming, do we still need Xbox consoles like the Xbox Series X/S anymore? The answer depends on the individual.

For non-Xbox owners, playing Xbox games on a PC is the best way to experience console-locked titles like Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II. However, certain drawbacks exist when playing graphics-intensive games on the PC instead of an Xbox console, such as streaming latency issues.

For instant, on-the-spot couch gaming, an Xbox console is a better option instead of a PC. The Xbox Series X/S boasts specialized gaming hardware supporting the latest video game technology and is more affordably priced when compared to a complete PC-gaming rig.

When it comes to playing Xbox games, here’s a brief outlook on both platforms:

PC (Xbox Cloud Gaming)

+ Play Xbox games without an Xbox console
+ Better recording/ live-streaming apps
+ Ability to multi-task programs
+ Access to EA Play (Xbox Game Pass PC/ Ultimate)
– Image quality locked at 1080p
– Requires a constant Internet connection
– Game performance affected by Internet speed/ latency
– Must meet minimum hardware requirements

Xbox Series X/S

+ Unlocked image quality up to 4K
+ Play Xbox games offline
+ Affordable Xbox Live subscription for online play
+ Instant couch gameplay for local co-op
– Requires memory space for game installation
– Minimal recording/ live-streaming support
– Expensive gaming peripherals

In my opinion, we shouldn’t be comparing them too much because each caters to different gamer profiles and lifestyles, especially when it comes to subscribing to Xbox Live. We just need to look at ourselves and identify which meets our demands the most.

Can I Buy Xbox Games on PC?

After knowing that Xbox games can be played on PC, some of us might be wondering if we can buy them using our computers too. Well, that’s a fairly common question.

Yes, we can buy Xbox games via PC by visiting the Xbox Games Catalogue on Xbox’s website. All we need is a Microsoft/ Xbox account that can be linked to the game once purchased.

Do note that the games bought CAN’T be installed on our PC. Instead, they will only be unlocked/ linked to our Xbox account for us to download and play them on their respective Xbox consoles.

Still, buying Xbox games on a computer does make things easier, allowing us to browse other sites while we proceed with online payments securely. This proves that PC gaming isn’t a waste of money at all, allowing everyone to access video game stores online apart from playing video games. 

Is Playing Xbox Games on PC Cheaper?

So, if we can play Xbox games on a PC via cloud gaming, does that make playing them on a computer much cheaper than on an Xbox gaming console?

Yes, playing Xbox games on PC by subscribing to Xbox Game Pass Ultimate is cheaper than playing them on Xbox consoles. This is true because the only ongoing cost required is an Xbox Game Pass Ultimate subscription, which is only $14.99 per month!

This saves us from forking out large sums of money to buy an Xbox Series X/S ($500/ $300), not to mention the additional fees of an Xbox Live Gold account ($9.99 a month) and Xbox games too ($40 – $60 per game on average).

However, as shared earlier, certain shortcomings come with playing Xbox games on PC, justifying the additional costs of buying a dedicated Xbox gaming console. At the end of the day, though, it all falls to a person’s gaming appetite, buying power, and personal lifestyle.

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